The suspension soaks up bumps with little drama. When pressed into a corner, the HS 250h exhibits a good deal of body roll--though not as much as we'd expected--and a great deal of understeer. Most importantly, the HS's handling is controllable and predictable.
Up front, the HS receives the most striking example of Lexus' L Finesse styling by way of its angular three-bar grill, which reduces drag by directing air up and over the hood. Look for this aesthetic to show up on future Lexus hybrids.
It's part joystick and part trackball, with a dash of haptic-force feedback tossed in. The Lexus remote-touch controller navigates through menus in a manner to which computer users should already be accustomed.
The HS 250h's icon-based menu system uses haptic feedback through the remote-touch controller for easier use with less looking. As you roll over an icon, the joystick locks on and uses force feedback to pull the controller to the icon's center.
The navigation system is snappy and beautifully rendered. Turn-by-turn directions are read aloud through a text-to-speech system that pronounces street names. Traffic data is provided through Lexus' Enform service.
Lane-keep assist and intelligent high beam cameras
On the back of the rear-view mirror is the camera for the intelligent high beams, which look for other vehicles and adjust the high beam lights accordingly. Just above that is the camera for the lane-keep assist, which recognizes lane markers and gently nudges the steering if you drift out of your lane.
The electroluminescent instrument cluster relays information about the hybrid-drive system on the left and speed on the right. An integrated LCD display cycles between readouts of the radar-guided cruise control, lane-keep assist, and fuel economy information.